Parliament protest damage could top $1 million, lawn infested with rats and faeces

Newshub can reveal the repair bill for Parliament will likely top a million dollars, partly because the lawn was infested with rats and human defecation. 

The parliamentary precinct siege came to an anarchic end a month ago and the cleanup is going to cost a pretty penny. Newshub has obtained exclusive estimates of the repair bill.

It's expected to cost a whopping $960,000, and that doesn't include any contingency or parliamentary staff costs, meaning the bill will likely exceed a million dollars.

"It's not cheap. There was a lot of damage," House Speaker Trevor Mallard told Newshub. 

A great chunk was spent cleaning up - including scrubbing graffiti. Repairing the parliamentary playground will cost up to $160,000.

Resowing the lawn comes with a price tag of $120,000 because it was so gross they had to dig up and relay the topsoil.

"Rodents, rats, faeces in the hay; it was all really really awful," Mallard said. 

Newshub can also reveal how long the protestors endured the Speaker's sprinkler spree: 19 hours in the middle of a deluge. 

He denies he added to the cleanup bill.

"None at all," Mallard said, when asked how much he contributed to the mess by keeping the sprinklers on. 

"There was no extra damage. The lawn was completely stuffed."

ACT leader David Seymour disagrees. 

"This is largely the cost of Trevor Mallard's immaturity. There was a chance for a mature deescalation; he created an immature escalation," Seymour told Newshub. 

Mallard reacted: "I'm not going to respond to Mr Seymour at all, don't care what he said."

Yet to be added to the tally is the cost of securing Parliament grounds in the future. The Speaker wants to build a wall or a fence.

Newshub got a sneak peek of the first design - a fence as high as the cast-iron gates.

The parliament has purchased temporary fencing in the meantime. It's too expensive to keep hiring. 

"We want to have it immediately available if the protestors come back," Mallard said. 

On top of all those repairs, a smaller bill came in: $2750.39 was spent hiring loudspeakers used to broadcast both trespass notices as requested by police and Mallard's punishing playlist.

Mallard admitted in written parliamentary questions he did not receive any official advice before doing this.

"That's something which is being looked into by other people and not something I'm about to discuss," Mallard told Newshub. 

"It's something for the IPCA [Independent Police Conduct Authority, which is carrying out an investigation] and the courts to work out."

Newshub understands the only reason the music was stopped after hours on loop was because police were complaining of headaches.